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Lightroom keeps adding additional catalogs

Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2020

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I had standalone LR6 with its catalog.  When I switched to Lightroom Classic CC it made a new one: catalog-2.  Now I am migrating LR to a new computer and it wants to make catalog-3.  What is the purpose of all these different catalogs and can I combine them to get back to one catalog?  Thank you...

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Lightroom keeps adding additional catalogs

Community Beginner ,
May 09, 2020

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I had standalone LR6 with its catalog.  When I switched to Lightroom Classic CC it made a new one: catalog-2.  Now I am migrating LR to a new computer and it wants to make catalog-3.  What is the purpose of all these different catalogs and can I combine them to get back to one catalog?  Thank you...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 09, 2020

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Sometimes Lightroom needs to upgrade the catalog. Upgrading from Lightroom 6 to Lightroom Classic is one of those times. In that case it will create a copy of the catalog and add '-2' to the name. So you don't need to combine the new one and the old one.

 

If you get 'catalogname-3' then there could be another issue: in the preferences you can set which catalog Lightroom should open on startup. The best option is 'Most recent catalog', but you can also specify a specific catalog. If the preferences specify the old LR6 catalog, then each time Lightroom Classic starts, it will want to upgrade that old catalog again and if 'catalogname-2' already exists, then it will name it 'catalogname-3'.


-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2020

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Thank you so much Johan!  I will check my preferences to make sure I am on the latest catalog.  Also, love your work and your website!

 

Jay..

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 09, 2020

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With each major upgrade of Lightroom the database engine that drives the catalog changes and is upgraded. This necessitates upgrading the catalog. Lightroom is "intelligent" enough to know when the catalog you have been using is "out of date" because of an update and needs to be upgraded. The upgrade appends that number to the end of the catalog, and that catalog is a new copy of the catalog that was being used previously. It contains everything that had been in the old catalog, but is now compatible with the new version of Lightroom Classic. Once you have verified that everything is functioning properly with the new upgraded catalog, it is safe to delete the older versions because they aren't going to be used anymore.

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2020

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Thanks Jim for the information that the new catalogs contain all of the information of the old catalogs and that I can delete them.  I am assuming that I can also change the filename back to just "catalog".

 

Jay...

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Conrad_C LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2020

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Having been through this a number of times, I would recommend including the version number in the catalog filename.

 

We are currently on Lightroom Classic 9, and someday (we hope) there will be a Lightroom Classic 10.  If the catalog is currently named “Lightroom Catalog”, then when the new version comes out, it will require a mandatory catalog format upgrade which will probably rename the catalog to “Lightroom Catalog-2”, and that’s where the confusion starts: It’s not clear if that is a v9 or v10 catalog, and not clear whether it’s the master or an accidental or unwanted copy. And if that default filename is never changed, it doesn’t set you up very well for future upgrades: The upgrade to version 11 will result in a mandatory upgrade copy confusingly named “Lightroom Catalog-2-2”.

 

Instead I name it something like “Lightroom Catalog v9” then on upgrade it will be renamed to “Lightroom Catalog v9-2”, which I will immediately rename (along with its preview and helper .lrdata files) to “Lightroom Catalog v10”. That just keeps things clear for me, but you can of course use whatever strategy is the least confusing for you in the long run.

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Engaged ,
May 10, 2020

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I am assuming that I can also change the filename back to just "catalog"

Yes, but you must also rename the folders that contain the name of your catalog :

<Catalog name> Previews.lrdtata

<Catalog name> Smart Previews.lrdtata

<Catalog name> Helper.lrdtata

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